An escalating number of destructive cyber intrusions from hackers in Iran have swept across international borders and impacted hundreds of organizations during the past two years. As the tide of geopolitical tensions rises, many nations have expressed worry over the storm of seemingly politically motivated cyber attacks.

A recent spearphishing campaign specifically targeted Washington D.C. based individuals. “People working in the Treasury Department and similar agencies in other Western governments were among those targeted,” the New York Times reports.

The spearphishing links sent to victims either deposited malware onto computers, allowing hackers to spy on electronic activities, or used real-looking, but inauthentic, websites in the attempt to convince users to reveal their login and password credentials.

Given the proclivity for attacks like these to scorch governmental functions and private business initiatives, it’s imperative that actions are taken to kibosh any flickers of corrupt behavior as soon as they surface. To put a stop to the scams, the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. has granted Microsoft legal authority to take control of the 99 sites employed by hackers in this offensive.

In early March, a spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations wrote, “[Iran] denies any involvement in cyber crimes against any nation,” in an email.  The spokesman described the allegations as advertisements –implying that they were ads for cyber security defense programs- and not unbiased, independent research.

Learn more via the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.